WAUKESHA (WITI) -- A Waukesha West High School graduate will compete on this season's American Idol (Season 12). Stephanie Schimel is a 2010 graduate of Waukesha West and this is her second appearance on the FOX show.
Schimel made it to Hollywood on Season 10, and she was eliminated in the first round.
On Thursday afternoon, January 17th, before the episode featuring Schimel was set to debut, the Schimel family shared stories about what helped shape their star.
"What really hit us actually was her freshman year, when she was asked to do a solo in her choir, and she started singing and my sister was there, and we both looked at each other and we started crying because I didn't know she could sing like that," Schimel's family member said.
Schimel told the Waukesha Patch she’s been singing for “as long as I can remember.” She taught herself to play the guitar in middle school and the ukulele in high school.
Schimel, who now lives in Tennessee, can’t say whether or not she will make it past judges Randy Jackson, Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban. But she does know she’ll be on the highlight reel when the episode airs at 7 p.m. Thursday on Fox. But she's sworn to secrecy on what she performed.
"Mariah Carey, Keith Urban and Randy Jackson all said that they liked me, and they were all very positive and had so many nice things to say. Nicki Minaj though isn't my biggest fan for some reason," Schimel told FOX6 News via Skype on Thursday.
Things are different this time around. She’s been through the auditions before – and then-judges Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez and Jackson loved her.
CLICK HERE to view Stephanie Schimel's Facebook page.